It’s generally assumed that religions are punctilious about enforcing their rules. Particularly the rules regarding personal morality. This is due to the fantasy versions of religious history taught in public schools around America.
In those versions, the Puritans were severe sexually repressed fanatics who stoned women for showing a little ankle. Further back, the Catholic Church was slaughtering people throughout Europe for missing confession. Of course, modern Evangelicals are peeping in your bedroom to make sure you’re not having too much fun.
That’s all nonsense, of course. The truth is religions are terrible at self-policing. The exception is theocracy. When the church controls the state and has a monopoly of force, it then has the duty of enforcing the rules. Its legitimacy is largely based on enforcing the rules.
That means policing itself as well as the populace. If a member of the clergy gets caught stealing they will face a more severe punishment than a commoner because the church has to maintain its legitimacy. A crime against the state is a crime against the church and therefore must be punished.
Theocracy is a rarity in human organization. The norm is a separation. In a monoculture this is not a problem because the church can rely on their coreligionists in the state to manage the enforcement of man’s rules. The church is free to worry about the spiritual side of things. It’s why multicultural societies are rare and tend to violence, but a topic for another day.
Catholic France is a good example of where the state was run by Catholic men who were not men of the Church. Britain after the Synod of Whitby is another that comes to mind. Pre-Civil War America was a land with a secular government run by Protestant Christians who were more than happy to let the laws be informed by their faith. It’s why the Civil War can be viewed as a religious schism amongst American Protestants.
Religions in lands where the secular authorities are hostile have peculiar pressures on them to not police their own too rigorously. They tend to focus on crimes against the faith like heresy or apostasy. Challenges to the hierarchy of the faith are also monitored. The issues that could involve the secular authorities present a problem. Turning over a criminal to the secular authorities could both violate the faith and place the faithful at the mercy of those outside the faith.
An example of what I’m getting at is the Catholic Church scandals. Priests are supposed to remain celibate and those who don’t face sanction from the church, but not expulsion from the church. Even sex with minors does not get you tossed, as long as you confess the sins to a priest and make satisfaction for them. Turning the priest over to the secular authorities is not on the book. More to the point, it invites the secular authorities into the church, which brings about a whole bunch of new troubles.
Now, most of what happened in the Catholic Church scandals was just good old fashioned sloth and corruption. It was easier to sweep it under the rug so that’s what happened. Then there was the Lavender Mafia that grew like cancer on the priesthood. Those elements in the Church not only worked to cover up these things, those outside that element did not want to reveal the existence of a Gay Mafia in the Church. The result was a decades long cover-up.
Now, what does have to do with the Clintons?
The new religion that is growing in the ruling elite is facing the same problems all religions face. How do they police themselves without undermining the legitimacy of the faith? Compounding that problem is the fact that the religion is largely defined by its political activities. Turning over a defective member of The One True Faith means giving political opponents ammunition to use against the faith. The Clintons may be dirtbags, but they are still members of the faith in good standing.
Christianity sets out a clear path to salvation. Act in certain ways, believe certain things, participate in certain rituals and you are going to heaven. Your salvation is not determined by other men. The rules are taught to the faithful as a part of their participation in the faith. Your priest could think you are a jerk, but as long as you take communion, go to confession and live a Christian life, you’re all set.
The new faith is occasionalist, in that the rules are always shifting. What makes you a member in good standing is that the clerisy considers you are a good liberal. In part, that’s why Rousseau-ist cults are prone to radicalism. Being pious means being more pious than the other guy. The result is a race into fanaticism. It’s also why the only sins that Progressives take seriously are heresy and apostasy.
The Clintons present a challenge to the faith in that their sins are outside the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Bill Clinton is a deviant and a pathological liar, but he has been devoted to progressive causes. Similarly, Hillary is a humorless harpy and a crook, but she never goes against the faith. The extreme members of the faith don’t like her, but their reasons have nothing to do with her selling influence as Secretary of State.
This new religion, let’s call it Spiritual Marxism, has to figure out how to deal with sociopaths like the Clintons and that means building out fixed rules. For an occasionalist faith, as we see with Islam, this is nearly impossible. In the case of Islam it reduces the authority of Allah. For Progressives it means stripping power from the trend setters, the people largely responsible for keeping the flame burning.
But, the alternative is to sanction general anarchy and no religion can last if it an assault on order.